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Province expands diabetes support for Nova Scotians

By Evan Taylor Feb 28, 2024 | 12:20 PM

Nova Scotians grappling with diabetes are on the brink of receiving a significant boost in support, with the Province unveiling plans to enhance access to vital resources for managing the condition.

The newly announced funding initiatives encompass two primary measures: the introduction of a program to cover sensor-based glucose monitoring supplies and an expansion of the Nova Scotia Insulin Pump Program. These measures are tailored to assist individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who rely on multiple daily insulin injections or insulin pumps for their care.

Premier Tim Houston while announcing the expanded program said that an expansion like this has been on the wishlist of diabetics for years, and he was pleased to finally deliver. “I wish we could have done it years ago, or previous governments before us could have done it, but we are doing it today and it’s a good things and we are going to move forward,”.

Under the proposed program, sensor-based glucose monitoring supplies will be made available on an income-based scale, ensuring affordability for those most in need. Nova Scotians with household incomes below $60,000 annually will be exempt from deductibles, while those earning between $60,000 and $150,000 will face deductibles ranging from $500 to $1,000.

Simultaneously, the removal of the age cap from the Nova Scotia Insulin Pump Program marks a significant expansion in accessibility. Previously limited to residents under the age of 26, this program will now extend its coverage to individuals of all ages, facilitating access to insulin pumps and related supplies. This extension is anticipated to benefit approximately 4,000 patients and enable around 450 additional Nova Scotians to avail themselves of the program’s resources.

These initiatives are part of an investment totaling $7.2 million in Budget 2024-25, with the majority of funding, $5.9 million, allocated towards sensor-based glucose monitoring supplies.

It’s estimated that approximately 106,850 Nova Scotians live with diabetes, with a notable proportion facing the challenges of Type 1 diabetes.

Stakeholders, including Diabetes Canada and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Canada, have welcomed these developments, emphasizing their potential to transform the lives of thousands of individuals grappling with diabetes. Jessica Diniz, President and CEO of JDRF Canada, highlighted the significance of increased access to life-saving technologies like advanced glucose monitors and insulin pumps in improving health outcomes and quality of life for those with Type 1 diabetes.

Emma Perry, a Type 1 diabetes advocate, commended the news, saying, “I am overjoyed and relieved to see that the Province of Nova Scotia will now be covering the cost of continuous glucose monitors and removing the age cap from insulin pump coverage. This is life-changing for me and for all Nova Scotians living with Type 1 diabetes,” .